The Maid of the Mist is Niagara Falls State Park’s oldest attractions and America’s most amazing boat ride since 1846. This favorite attraction has been taking visitors on a Niagara Gorge excursion for over 150 years with generations of tourists naming the Niagara Falls boat tour as the highlight of their trip. The Maid of the Mist Tour is part of the value-added Niagara Falls USA Discovery Pass that grants access to five Niagara Falls attractions at a more affordable price.
The Maiden Voyage
The Maid of the Mist took its maiden voyage in 1846 but is was not designed for sight-seeing. The barge-like steam boat was used to ferry people and transport cargo including stage coaches and horses, across the Niagara River. When the suspension bridge between the U.S. and Canada was built in 1848, the business took a new direction and the Maid of the Mist water adventure tour was born. What started as a single steam boat is now a world-famous attraction.
Captain Robinson’s Legendary Ride
During the 1860’s, people feared of the coming Civil War and the business suffered with very few people taking the tours. The Maid of the Mist owner W.O. Buchanan sold the steam boat to a Montreal-based company who agreed to purchase the boat with one condition. The boat needed to be delivered twelve miles down the Niagara River right through the Whirlpool and Devil’s Hole Rapids, known as the world’s wildest waters. On June 6, 1861, Maid of the Mist Captain Joel R. Robinson, together with his engineer James Jones and mechanic James McIntyre, sent out on a journey through the treacherous waters. They navigated safely it past the suspension bridge, through the whirlpool and safely down to the quiet waters of Queenston, Canada.
The Maid of the Mist tour was re-launched in 1885 with a new and improved 70-foot long white oak vessel that ventured deep into the basin of the Horseshoe Falls. The tours became so popular that a second boat was built in 1892. Since then the Maid of the Mist boats have been taking millions of visitors to the basin of the Niagara Falls for a legendary ride.
The Maid of the Mist Experience
The Maid of the Mist tour takes off from the gentle part of the Niagara River, close to the Rainbow Bridge. As the boat slowly navigates towards the American and Bridal Veil, visitors are welcomed by a dense spray of mist, the raging currents and the deafening thunder of the Horseshoe Falls. Deep into the swirling mist of the Niagara Gorge basin, visitors are taken on an unforgettable the ride of their life. The captains of the famous tour boat fleet has been safely navigating these powerful waters for generations, taking millions of people to the heart of the Niagara Falls.
Tickets to the Maid of the Mist can be purchased individually or as part of the Niagara Falls USA Discovery Pass, a tour package of five Niagara Falls attractions that offers up to 29% savings and lots of free gifts.
Apart from the roaring waterfalls, the town of Niagara offers many attractions from world class restaurants, casinos and outlet shopping. Enjoy a comfortable stay at the Holiday Inn Express Niagara Falls, with top of the line amenities and proximity to all of Niagara Falls attractions. Learn more about it through our Niagara Falls Tour Center.